You may not have perfect attendance in my everyday encounters but you made sure that you were always there when I needed you. You were working 24/7 because you wanted me to have a wonderful future thinking that the money you have poured out in my education and possessions were enough to satisfy my dire need for attention. I excelled in school but not in my ability to immediately belong in society. I was different.
I was 10
You saw that I was growing up quick but you let me experience life. You saw how I rose to the top and how I fell to the ground. You were all ears and even tears, they rolled down on your eyes after hearing how I have suffered but you knew this was just another learning experience and the best you can do is to support me and hold my hand. You worked harder and harder as your eldest child learns to enjoy life.
I was 12
You have seen my imperfections but still loved and cared for me endlessly. I focus on impressing my friends that I have forgotten what makes you smile. I make mistakes but you continue to help me. I push you away but you bring yourself near every time to make me feel that you have not given up in loving me, for me. I tell you my achievements and you respond with a simple response but I hear from all my relatives how proud you are of me.
I was 15
You knew that I was not the best but continued to let me do what I want to do. Then came a time when I knew I was not enough for society and then, I wondered why you never pushed me hard to become best in what I do.. you answered me, “because you were good enough for me. You seemed happy in what you were doing so we did not want to put any pressure.” You were rooting for me not because I was good at what I was doing rather you wanted me to appreciate the simple joys I had. You continue to pay for my hobbies to sustain my happiness.
I was 18
You knew I was having a hard time and you still gave me your time despite your current sufferings. You knew you had much more to give up for this decision for our perceived success in a new environment. It was tough for me and I was selfish to think of my own challenges as the worst that could happen. You cried with me and finally, have become vulnerable of your own reasons for your tears. I am grateful for opening your heart to me. Now, I understand. I, too, am crying with you.
I have been aiming for so many things to prove my love for you. I became extremely busy trying to reach for the stars when I have forgotten to look around that while I was flying high, I have lost touch with you and even though you were looking up to me, I still felt alone. You reminded me that I did not need to do anything to make your proud because you already are. You tell me every time, “You are our pride. You are the reason that we continue to live and work. You never fail us. All we want you to become is healthy and happy. The achievements that you bring to this family? They are also important but to us, they are just additional assets that make us happy that not only are you happy but you are doing really well. We love you.”
I could not get it but everyday, you prove through your actions, that you care a lot. I have learned that this is what true love is. Love does not have to be extravagant. It can be the little things that you do like remembering birthdays, cooking for a meal, fixing the house, going home early to talk, and giving hugs. You cook our meals, drive me to work when I sleep late the night before, learn as much in order to catch up with my growing knowledge, book trips for us to see different places, and shower me hugs & kisses.
I am 22 and I am continuing to learn more about the definition of love but one thing is for sure, I love my parents, forever and always. ❤